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Dozens of groups urge a slower pace on unemployment insurance

slowdownMore than two dozen groups took the unusual step of issuing a statement Tuesday afternoon to urge the General Assembly to adopt a slower pace on unemployment insurance reform.

Earlier in the day, on just the fourth day of the legislative session, the NC House gave final approval to a sweeping rewrite of unemployment insurance system, dramatically cutting both the amount and the duration of weekly UI benefits. The bill now heads to the NC Senate.

Here’s more from the groups’ release:

RALEIGH (Feb. 5, 2013) —To make good policy, we need good information. That means taking time to listen to North Carolinians of different background and perspective.

The NC General Assembly’s controversial plan to change our state’s unemployment insurance system has moved at breakneck speed, with little time or opportunity for debate. The bill was introduced Wednesday, was in committee Thursday, and on the House floor Monday. Neither the public nor advocates for jobless workers have been at the table during the design of this legislation.

If we want to build a system that will work, we need to hear these voices.

The bill — a piece of legislation we have grave concerns about — will soon move on to the North Carolina Senate. We hope that lawmakers in the Senate will draw on North Carolina’s rich tradition of careful, deliberate policymaking.

The decisions we make today will affect tens of thousands of our neighbors immediately, and countless North Carolina workers in the future. These are not choices to be made in haste. We urge Senate leaders to slow this process down, listen to all sides, and be open to compromise. Only by doing so can we protect jobless workers, now and in the future.

  • Action for Children NC
  • Action NC
  • American Association of University Women of NC
  • Covenant with NC’s Children
  • Disability Rights NC
  • Good Work
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 391
  • Legal Services of Southern Piedmont
  • National Association of Social Workers – NC Chapter
  • NCAE
  • NC Advocates for Justice
  • NC Asset Alliance
  • NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence
  • NC Coalition to End Homelessness
  • NC Council of Churches
  • NC Community Development Initiative
  • NC Housing Coalition
  • NC Justice Center
  • NC MomsRising
  • NC NOW
  • NC State A. Phillip Randolph Institute
  • NC Women United
  • Pisgah Legal Services
  • State Employees Association of NC
  • Working America